Cup holder makes it through to last 8

Greek Cup champions Larissa advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 away victory over Apollon Kalamaria in Thessaloniki yesterday. Larissa opened the scoring early in the second half when Alexandre Silva Cleiton slotted the ball into the net from an Ibrahima Bakayoko and Nikos Dabizas combination. The hosts struck back a quarter of an hour later with a powerful right-foot volley by Merkouris Karaliopoulos. But Larissa, the dominant side for most of the game, took over and missed several good chances to regain the lead. The defending champion’s winning goal came just a minute from time when defender Panayiotis Katsiaros rocketed in a long-range volley to the top corner. Larissa joins Aris, Xanthi and Thrasyvoulos, all already through to the quarterfinals. In other upcoming ties, Asteras Tripoli meets Atromitos and Olympiakos hosts archrival Panathinaikos on January 16. A day later, Iraklis plays Panionios. OFI takes on Agrotikos Asteras in Iraklion either on January 23 or February 13. In transfer news yesterday, Panathinaikos signed Porto striker Helder Postiga on a loan deal, but he is not expected to play this weekend. The 25-year-old, who cited lack of playing time at Porto as the reason for his move, has spent two previous tenures abroad with English Premiership club Tottenham and French team St Etienne. «My aim is to play more regularly, something I’m not getting at Porto,» Postiga told Portuguese radio. Also yesterday, Thessaloniki club Aris sealed a one-and-a-half-year deal with Brazilian striker Marcio Amoroso. The 33-year-old, who has played with a number of clubs since the early 90s, rose to prominence in Italy almost a decade ago as a star performer for Udinese Calcio. Lack of form had kept him from playing at his present club, Brazilian team Gremio.